Your name is Aaron. You have been chosen by the Lord to lead the people of Israel in worship to the Lord. You know your responsibility will be great, but you don’t really know how great it will be. You can’t help but to be impressed with your younger brother Moses, for it was the Lord who chose Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, but you were fortunate to be by him to help and speak for him. Already to this point, you know the Lord.
You were there when the two of you presented yourselves before the king; you were there when you both were reprimanded by the people because the burdened became much heavier for them; you were there when Egypt’s king called Moses before him more than once seeking relief; you were there when Pharaoh sent you and the nation out of NE Africa with haste. You saw all of this, but more than having seen it, you experienced it. Now, the Lord choose you to lead His people. Your name is Aaron.
Through Moses, the Almighty tasked you to head up his priestly family. Moses was of the same ancestry as you, but it was you He chose. Now it begins to settle on you just how great a position of responsibility you have.
Moses calls you and your two sons, Nadab and Abihu, to be set apart for the Lord’s special work. As you look at your two sons, you are a proud father, but the significance of your role is yet before you. Animals are killed on the behalf of you three, and there is much symbolism administered as you three are set apart for a most important work. You are separated from the people at large and from your family for many days. Now it really begins to settle in on you just how important this work is. It begins to settle in, but it has not quite arrived at the point where it will settle in.
Not only are you given special clothing and set aside for a special work with much symbolism, but now you are presenting to the Lord only those things He wants done. By this time, you have come to honor, respect, revere and fear the Lord’s name and power. You are a changed man. Your two sons, you hope, have been changed as you have been. They experienced the same as you; perhaps their experience was not quite the same, but nearly so. Surely, as with your response, theirs is similar.
Now, you come to a part of the Divine service wherein an offering of incense to the Lord is to occur. You, with much devotion and respect, fulfill your responsibilities to this point; now it’s time for your sons to do the same. Before you know it, from heaven came fire and consumed them! Their lives are gone! Your mind is racing, wondering what just happened, and why it happened. Then you hear from Moses and begin to understand what happened. “Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3).
What in the world were Nadab and Abihu thinking that they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord? Some have suggested it was because of alcohol, for the Lord gives guidance concerning that in Leviticus 10. This may be exactly the problem, but I am inclined to think it was simply willful disobedience on their part to the Lord’s expressed way; they were thoughtless and careless. “Surely, the Lord will not be upset with a slight change in the offering of this incense! What difference does it make, anyway?”
Your name is Aaron. While you never met Jeremiah, you have come to learn by experience that which he wrote nearly a thousand years later, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV). You have learned that the Lord knows your heart and the heart of every one of His created beings. LESSON: Never trifle with the Lord and His way, for one can be sure sin will find them out (Numbers 32:23). RT